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'Surgical Bandit.' Austin police, FBI investigating string of similar robberies

It appears a man wearing a surgical mask has been robbing Austin-area banks recently.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin Police Department and the FBI are investigating after a series of Austin-area robberies all seemed to have one thing in common – the suspect was wearing a surgical mask.

On Friday, the FBI confirmed that its violent crimes task force, which includes several APD detectives, have dubbed him the "Surgical Bandit."

Some of the incidents described include the following:

A robbery at the Chase Bank on 1904 Guadalupe Street

  • Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 11:32 a.m.
  • The suspect entered the bank, presented a note demanding money, and left the scene on foot.
  • No injuries were reported.
  • The suspect was wearing a surgical mask, dark-colored baseball cap, dark-colored jacket, dark-colored pants and black Nike canvas shoes.

A robbery at the Wells Fargo at 1825 South Pleasant Valley Road

  • Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 3:45 p.m.
  • The suspect entered the bank, presented a note demanding money, and left the scene on foot.
  • No injuries were reported.
  • The suspect was wearing a surgical mask, dark-colored baseball cap, dark-colored jacket, tan pants and black Nike canvas shoes.
Credit: Austin Police Department

A robbery at the Compas Bank at 321 W. Sixth Street

  • Wednesday, Oct. 9, at 10:30 a.m.
  • The suspect entered the bank, demanded money and left the scene on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash.
  • The suspect was wearing a surgical mask, a light-colored jacket, dark-colored shorts.
  • Police said this same bank was targeted in September and the suspect was wearing a surgical mask. Police said they are not ruling out a link between these two incidents.

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The suspect has been described as:

  • White male
  • 5 feet, 6 inches to 5 feet, 8 inches tall
  • 150 to 180 pounds
  • Medium build
  • Mid 40s

Anyone with more information is asked to call police at 512-974-5092, Crime Stoppers at at 512-472-TIPSm or use the new Crime Stoppers App.

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